Riders win opener
By Matt Laurin
The Ghostriders drew first blood in the second round, downing the Kimberley Dynamiters 5 – 2 on Tuesday night in Fernie.
As expected, it was a penalty filled affair between the bitter rivals, a trend that Head Coach Will Verner would like to see change.
“I wasn’t happy with our lack of discipline tonight. We’ll take the result, but we’ve got to play smarter than that going forward.”
Brendan Burge and Connor McLaughlin continued to lead the offensive charge, combining for three goals and two assists.
The Riders also got contributions from Marty Wicks and Brendon Magnone, while goaltender Chris Solecki turned away 25 shots in his second consecutive start.
Fernie grabbed the early momentum, when Burge opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the first period.
Both teams exchanged chances, before Marty Wicks made a perfect pass to a streaking Brendon Magnone who made no mistake on the breakaway.
“That was a beauty pass from Wicks, and I just went down and tucked it five hole. It was nice to have some finish for once,” joked Magnone after the game.
Burge added his second of the night on a late powerplay to give the Riders a three goal lead after one.
The penalty box staff had their hands full in the second, as the teams combined for 11 minor penalties.
Kimberley grabbed the momentum with an early powerplay goal from Colton Vanucci, while outshooting the Riders 12 – 3 in the second frame.
Verner likely had some strong words with his troops, and the Riders answered back immediately in the third period.
Connor McLaughlin scored his team leading seventh goal of the playoffs on an early man advantage, before having a goal called off on an early whistle just two minutes later.
With the teams skating four aside, Senate Patton scored for the Dynamiters to make it a two goal game.
The Ghostriders’ powerplay struck for a third time, as Marty Wicks unleashed a trademark bomb from the point to seal things with 10 minutes to play.
There will be no love lost when the series resumes in Fernie on Friday night. Be sure to check back for results from Wednesday night’s clash in Kimberley.